The sun has set on the “sun and beach” holiday market in Minorca. President of the island's Insular Council, Joana Barceló, this week presented the conclusion of a study carried out into Minorca's tourist industry which clearly states that the island's bucket and spade market has peaked and can no longer compete with the likes of the Caribbean and other emerging Mediterranean destinations which all offer plenty of beaches and sunshine. Minorca never has been as dependent on the sun and beach market as Majorca and, based on the results of the report, intends to take steps to develop the island's already flourishing eco and cultural tourism sector. The study has also highlighted that holidaymakers are more concerned about going to quality destinations where standards are high from the service provided to the environment and the countryside. Barceló said that Minorca's tourism model is going to change dramatically. The President of the Insular Council said that Minorca has been running the risk of falling into the same tourism category as Majorca with over developed resorts and mass tourism. She pointed out that a number of tour operators over recent years have diverted their attentions to Minorca because of the high level of saturation during the summer in Majorca. Holidaymakers are becoming more demanding and in Minorca, the tourism authorities believe that they can meet the needs of the changing market. The island has managed to build a hugely popular family holiday market which is predominantly British which in turn has enabled Minorca to maintain its quiet and tranquil image. The local authorities have always tried to promote Minorca's history. Over the past few years money has been spent on opening up all of the island's military forts and promote its rich archaeology. Barceló said that the growing number of independent holidaymakers will work in the island's favour and that the sun and sea package holiday market has reached its limits on the island.

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